Home Beauty The prettiest mother-of-the-bride dresses that are anything but frumpy

The prettiest mother-of-the-bride dresses that are anything but frumpy

The prettiest mother-of-the-bride dresses that are anything but frumpy


Apart from your own wedding dress, finding The One from all the mother of the bride dresses out there can be a daunting task. You’ll likely be shopping with your daughter or future-daughter-in-law, so she will probably have a say on the aesthetic and colour… You’ll want to feel like you, so finding an outfit that echoes your own personal style is key. But you’ll still want to nod to the formality of the event. It’s your daughter – or son’s – wedding after all.

So all things considered, finding the best mother of the bride dresses could become overwhelming… But don’t panic. Start your search early and do peruse our definitive list of the best places to shop if you’re searching for mother of the bride dresses, or mother of the groom dresses. We’re here to take one thing off your to-do list.

The best places to buy mother of the bride dresses, at a glance…

  1. Best for designer: Net-A-Porter
  2. Best for choice: John Lewis
  3. Best for affordability: Coast
  4. Best for influence-adored: Karen Millen
  5. Best for traditional: LK Bennett

Firstly, find out what the bridesmaids are wearing, so you can go tonal if you want (or avoid the exact shade of shade of sage green they might be wearing…) and consider comfort as well as style. This is a dress you’re likely to wear from breakfast til midnight. You’ll need to be able to sit, eat and dance easily. The ideal would be to completely forget about what you’re wearing and just have fun!

If you have a designer budget and want to spend on something high end for the wedding, there will be tonnes of choice at Net-A-Porter but you’ll also find a wide variety of brands at John Lewis, too. Wherever you’re shopping, we have some tricks to make sure your search doesn’t become overwhelming. Our top tip? Use all the filters. Choose the length (knee-length, midi or maxi are most wedding appropriate, but you do you) and the sleeve-type you’d like, whether you fancy something sleeveless, short sleeve or want full coverage on your arms.

Toggle the categories to look at the colours you know suit you best – or that suit the wedding scheme – and cap your price search (keeping to budget will leave more cash for your accessories.) We’ve picked out our favourite styles which tick so many different requirements, now you just have to have a try-on session! PSA: Don’t forget a hat – it will be the perfect finishing touch for the big day…

Ahead, the best mother of the bride dresses to order online in 2023 (including mother of the groom dresses).

The titan of the high street is our go to for picnic picky bits, classics with a twist from the Autograph range and brilliant weekend-y boho styles from Per Una – but did you know they also stock a huge array of other brands, from Finery London,  Jaeger and Hobbs to Gina Bacconi (which is ideal for classically elegant mother of the bride dresses).

Finery London Collared Midi Tea Dress

Gina Bacconi Floral Lace Knee Length Shift Dress

Save when you shop for the best mother-of-the-bride dresses with these Marks and Spencer discount codes.

Almost like a multi-brand, Ralph Lauren has a brilliant selection of lines on their site. The Polo Ralph Lauren collection is pretty and classically chic while the Lauren label rings in at a lower price point (but is still a designer label – here for it.) There is also Ralph Lauren collection, which is what you’ll see on the catwalk, if you have a chunkier budget.

Polo Ralph Lauren Belted Floral Cotton Tiered Dress

Lauren Floral Surplice Jersey Dress

Save when you shop for the best mother-of-the-bride dresses with these Ralph Lauren discount codes.

For the more bohemian minded mother of the bride, or mother of the groom, Monsoon is an affordable stop for all things beaded, embroidered and downright beautiful. These are special pieces you’ll treasure for years to come – and the brand is also making strides towards more sustainable materials, including using recycled polyester in some styles.

Yennefer Embroidered Midi Dress

Karen Embroidered Dress In Recycled Polyester

Shopping at a department store definitely gives you the widest choice – but it can be a little overwhelming. We found two brands that were definitely outside our usual must shop labels – but which we absolutely love for elegant mother of the bride dresses. This year John Lewis have introduced rental, which is a great way to find a special occasion outfit that you’re likely to only wear once.

Helen McAlinden Michelle Lace Dress, Oyster

Adrianna Papell Metallic Embroidery Sheath Dress, Blush

Ted Baker is definitely having a style resurgence. They do have a higher price point than some other high street brands but the quality is considered and the silhouettes directional. There isn’t a huge variety of styles online but we love the edit, which is ideal if you’re looking for something more edgy than a regular mother of the bride ensemble.

Puff Sleeve Fitted Bodice Midi Dress

Crossover Knit Midi Bodycon

Save when you shop for the best mother-of-the-bride dresses with these Ted Baker discount codes.

Home to some of the dreamiest dresses we’ve ever seen, Rixo is a go to for bridesmaid dresses and wedding guest dresses but it’s also great if you’re looking for a beautiful mother of the bride dress. We love their extended size ranges and you can find frocks with longer lengths, sleeves and more modest coverage too.

Evelyn Silk-Mix Midi Dress

Zadie Poppy-Pattern Dress

An absolute go to for more formal events and occasion wear, LK Bennett manages to hit the sweet spot of smart without ever looking stuffy. The silk or recycled polyester dresses are ideal for summer weddings but there are tonnes of ideas of you’re looking for an autumn or winter mother of the bride dress too. You can also browse the LKBorrowed selection of dresses to rent.

Tallis Green And Cream Spot Recycled Polyester Shirt Dress

Marcellin Blue and Cream Stripe Silk Dress

Don’t forget to check out Phase Eight… as well as classic styles and smart dress and jacket co-ords, they also have brilliant options for evening weddings and one of the most inclusive size ranges we’ve seen on the high street (ranging from 6-26.)

Yasmina Pleated Maxi Dress

Jacinta Sequin Jersey Maxi Dress

Save when you shop for the best mother-of-the-bride dresses with these Phase Eight discount codes.

A British-born brand that does formal occasion wear to a tee, Hobbs should definitely be on your must-visit list for mother of the bride dresses (and mother of the groom dresses.) The fabrics all feel luxurious, which is ideal for dressing for such a special day.

Orelia Fit And Flare Dress

Sleek and chic, Karen Millen is a forever favourite of ours for smart dresses (and some of the best leather pieces on the high street.) Their mother of the bride edit manages to look classic yet contemporary – you’ll find nothing frumpy here – and we also love their selection of statement hats and fascinators to finish off your look.

Italian Structured Satin Dress & Jacket Co Ord

Satin Crepe Drama Maxi Dress

Save when you shop for the best mother-of-the-bride dresses with these Karen Millen discount codes.

A longtime favourite for tailoring and smart city suiting, Reiss gets dressing for formal events absolutely spot-on. Ideal if you’re heading to a wedding in town, rather than a rustic country church, the cape-style midi dress has all the drama of a far more expensive style.

Pleated Fitted Midi Dress

Out of all the brands in our edit, Coast is probably the label most associated with occasion wear. It is fancy, however you interpret the dress code. Whether you want beading and embellishment, graphic details, suits or jumpsuits, as well as dresses, hats and shoes, you’ll be sorted in very chic style.

Midi Pencil Dress With Twist Front & Long Sleeve

Premium Off Shoulder Embellished Pencil Dress

Everyone will find a dream dress at Net-A-Porter, if your budget stretches. Search by occasion and filter the colour, length and sleeve details to make your search a little smoother. There are super-classic styles as well as brilliant ideas if you’re heading off to a destination wedding or tropical beach ceremony.

Self-Portrait Belted Sequin-Embellished Bouclé-Tweed And Pleated Chiffon Midi Dress

La Double J Floral-Print Stretch-Crepe Maxi Dress

Save when you shop for the best mother-of-the-bride dresses with these Net-A-Porter discount codes.

Matchesfashion.com is a gem if you’re a fashion loving mother of bride, who doesn’t want to give up her own personal style because of traditional expectations. As well as the most desirable dress edit, look through their jewellery for a fantastic array of finishing touches too and don’t forget that accessories are always a great way to bring personality to more simple dresses.

The Vampire’s Wife The Toto Gypsy Floral-Print Cotton Midi Dress

Saloni Jamie Crystal-Bow Floral-Print Silk Dress

After more occasionwear and mother of the bride outfit options? We have wedding guest jumpsuits, if dresses aren’t your thing, plus size wedding guest dresses, spring wedding guest dresses and maternity wedding guest dresses.

For more from Glamour UK Fashion Director at large Alex Fullerton, follow her on Instagram @alexandrafullerton


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